Panera East Greenwich Delivers Gifts From Annual Holiday Drive To Children's Friend
EAST GREENWICH, RI, December 30, 2012 — A Holiday Gift Drive at Panera Bread on 1000 Division Road in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, has made the holidays brighter for families at Children’s Friend based in Providence, Rhode Island as more than 30 presents were collected from Panera customers and employees. Stacy Couto (second from left), Vice President of External Affairs at Children’s Friend, recently received the gifts from Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group representatives (from left to right): Amanda daCunha, Marketing Coordinator; Tony Ferri, General Manager of the East Greenwich bakery-cafe; Bahjat Shariff, Operating Partner and Senior Vice President of Operations; and Wendy Kopp, Director of Marketing.
For the third consecutive year, customers participated in the Holiday Gift Drive by simply going to the counter at their local Panera, selecting a gift tag with a specific child’s first name on it, and then purchasing the “wish list” items noted. Each gift tag is special with a different child, age and list of gifts on it. Gifts were then brought back to the respective cafes by participating customers early last week in a gift bag with the gift tag attached.
Children's Friend, a non-profit organization founded in 1834, is Rhode Island's oldest child welfare organization and a leading provider of child welfare, family support, mental health, and youth development services. With centers in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Children’s Friend served more than 32,000 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families in 2011. The agency's programs range from Adoption, Foster Care, Birth Parent Counseling, Child Care and Adoption Support and Preservation, to Dads Making A Difference, WIC, Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Intervention, Family Counseling and Project Connect.
The participating bakery-cafes and their non-profit partners were as follows: Waterford and Groton, CT are partnering with the Riverfront Children’s Center based in Groton; Lisbon, CT is working with the United Community & Family Services in Jewett City, CT; Newington, Wethersfield, Farmington, Bristol and Canton, CT are participating with Place of Grace based in Hartford, CT; bakery-cafes in Glastonbury, Manchester (Deming Street) and Manchester (Shoppes at Buckland Hills), CT are working with the ECHN Family Development Center in Manchester; West Hartford, CT is participating with The Bridge Family Center in West Hartford; Enfield, CT is teaming up with The Enfield Food Shelf; North Dartmouth, MA is partnering with Child & Family Services in New Bedford, MA; and cafes in Wakefield, Newport, East Greenwich, Warwick, Cranston, Smithfield and Providence, RI and Seekonk, North Attleborough and Plainville, MA are working in tandem with Children’s Friend based in Providence. All twenty-four Panera Bread bakery-cafes are owned and operated by Howley Bread Group based in Cumberland, RI.
Over the past 10 years, Panera Bread/HBG has helped collect and donate over $648,453 to its five Operation Dough-Nation charity partners, as well as contributions to Haiti Relief, local hurricane and tornado relief through the American Red Cross and breast cancer awareness through the company’s Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign with area hospital partners. Panera Bread/HBG has also donated $3 million dollars a year in bakery items to churches, shelters and food pantries as part of its “Day End” program.
Panera Bread/HBG has a Donations Department where organizations can request food donations for various non-profit fundraisers and events. Please visit www.panerabreadhbg.com and click on “Donations, Partnerships and Charities” to request a donation.